Ting Gong’s designs are both present and absent

“I think of fashion as a language...”


Inspired by In No Particular Order, the design exhibition by Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie that’s currently on at Dutch Design Week, we got to know some of the participants a little better. Following our conversation with Amy Suo Wu, today we give the floor to Ting Gong—a young fashion visionary who looks beyond her discipline and sees far into the unseen.

As a young designer, how would you describe your signature?

Creating pieces of clothing and installations featuring clothing-like objects that embody phenomena, technology, and contemporary art. Simply, offering experiences at any given time.

In your work the value of your process seems to equal the value of the final outcome. Do you consider yourself a researcher or perhaps an artist as much as a fashion designer?

I have a keen interest in the exploration between material and technique, body and spaces, as well as how to translate them into a futuristic view of clothing. It enables me to reach an idiosyncratic craftsmanship: layer-structured, floating silhouettes, which are made of industrial materials, both reflecting as well as transmitting light, accessible more as sculptures than as proper clothing advice. So the experience of space, the sensibility of material and the notion of clothing are the subjects that interplay in my work.

My work pattern is clear; I start with thinking up a situation, a space where imagining the designs are within. Then I create a collection and have more focus on the materials and techniques, some are aimed to be worn, some are made as an experiment intentionally that will lead into the next phase, which is the performative installation. In this sense, I am a fashion designer-slash-artist-slash-researcher.

ting gong_glamcult_1

More and more young fashion designers are questioning the (speed of the) system. What are your views on this? And does your work touch on this at all?

I think of fashion as a language that we can use to speak about culture, continents, individuals and generations, one step further and deeper. If only to speak about fashion, it is very much about the speed and the system, and it is not valuable to us. My current work addresses the awareness of being and a sense of absence in a world that is bombarded with images and sounds, which I elaborate with a language that transcends the fashion system.

Invisibility and evaporation seem to be a recurring theme in your work. What is it about this concept that fascinates you so much? And how do you approach them through your work?

‘________ That Disappears’ is a forever ongoing project, it comes from a personal experience that I had, walking through a concrete white tunnel with a glass wall on one side in a high-rise building. The small sunlit space blocked out the chaos of the outside world. There was no focus for the eyes; stillness and silence were allowed full presence.

The simplicity of the empty space encounter drove me to create a serene version of the evaporation and ambiance of “nothing”, to question the process of designing and making that are something intentionally fragile or void.

What can we expect from your contribution to In No Particular Order? Can you perhaps share a hint?

A prototype called ‘Superposing Double-Sleeves Jacket’ for the future and a hand-made wooden chair from the past.


Ting’s work is on show at Dutch Design Week until the 29th of October.

In No Particular Order presents the contemporary conditions of creative growth, as experienced by the 32 recipients of the Stimuleringsfonds’ year-long Talent Development Grant. The nine installations in the Van Abbe Museum reflect on the themes: Attitude, Inspiration, Habitat, Representation, Money, Fortune, Language, Discourse and Market.

For these installations, all of the 32 participating designers provided input with conceptual as well as physical contributions such as sketches, prototypes and sources of inspiration.





Main image: Fabian Landewee

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